As fear of a third wave of Covid-19 grips India, child specialists warn against taking gastrointestinal problems in children lightly as it may lead to Covid.
Talking to TOI, the specialist said that extended gastrointestinal complications in a child should not be death at home with self-medication rather it should be brought to the knowledge of the paediatrician at the earliest as such symptoms could be a fallout of Covid infection.
Amid rumours that the third wave of Covid is likely to impact the children more severely, experts have advised keeping a lookout for symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, loose motion, appetite loss and so with or without low-grade fever especially in scenarios where there is a Covid positive person at home.
However many doctors remain divided on the prevalence of Covid in case of gastrointestinal troubles. Some said that around 10-15% of children with Covid-19 may manifest gastro-related symptoms ahead of respiratory issues while others, emphasized the prevalence was as high as 20%-30%.
Dr Waikar, told TOI that precaution needs to be taken as there may be inflammation of the small intestine and rarely aggravation of the appendix too, apart from regular gastro-related problems in children.
Many doctors contended that the phase between May end to June first week may usher in cases of diarrhoea which might prove to be fatal as the ACE-2 receptor, through which the novel coronavirus enters the cell, is present in the intestine, especially the small intestines which increases the chances of infection through faecal-oral route triggering pain in abdomen and vomiting.
Gastroenterologist Dr Samir Patil while advising to avoid uncooked and junk food also urged the family members and other staff in the house to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
The Delhi government has set up a task force comprising paediatricians, experts, and senior IAS officers to come up with plans and measures to safeguard children from the next wave of Covid. Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech has been granted permission for conducting the phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin for those in the age group of 2 to 18 years.